Buying a camera, need help!
Hey guys,.

I currently have an old "point and shoot" camera, it's pretty beat. I am going to Mexico in a week and Europe this summer, so I want to get a decent dSLR for these trips and also for taking pics of my car. I would like to take a photography class this summer as well, I think photography is something I would really enjoy once I got into it..

I have talked to a few friends who are into photography and they have recommended either a Nikon or Canon. I think I am leaning more towards either the Canon Rebel XT or XTi. From searching bestbuy online it looks like they sell these cameras as either a body or with a Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-f/32 lens. Is this lens a good beginner, all purpose lens? Any recommendations on which lens to get if it would be smarter to buy the body and a lens separate..

Is the XTi worth the higher price tag, or should I just go with the XT? What "accessories" will I need right away? Just a memory card and case?.


Comments (6)

The XSi is coming out in April, get it instead of the XTi..


Http:// I have no hope, irrationally I believe in miracles.Joni Mitchell..

Comment #1

I want to get the camera sometime this week before my trip to Mexico. I don't need the top of the line newest one. The XTi is already pushing the limit on how much I would like to spend. Any other advice?..

Comment #2

Why not get a cheapy $100 point and shoot, and play with it on your trip. Save up more money for you bigger trip in the summer, purchasing the XSi..

Having said that the XTi will work well, and you will be able to take many a good photo with it. To be honest with you, on vacation, not a photography vacation, I prefer point and shoots; they're small, simple and good enough for about 95% of the type of shots taken on vacation..

DSLR's are more a creative tool, I speak in generalities to avoid flames; and point and shoots are more about pics of the family, the dog, friends, enemies and lovers. They are about boring friends with your travel shots, etc. You know, the kind of shots your friends show you..

DSLR's are about macro and close ups, landscapes and portraits, studio work and scientific recordings, court work, and CSI. DSLR's with good lens are usually big and klutzy, point and shoots fit into the purse or pocket..

When I'm on vacation, I often (almost always) use my wife's P&S, when I am by myself shooting in gardens, valleys, the top of mountains and isolated lakes, it's always DSLR or my wonderful old SLR (film).Rationally I have no hope, irrationally I believe in miracles.Joni Mitchell..

Comment #3

For travel I'd suggest you need a basic DSLR ( whatever one you like holding and using - try them ) or a super-zoom..

For lenses, yes the basic kit lenses are fine. As you are starting out I think it will be quite a big leap to get used to using them, never mind a more expensive lens. The kit lenses are not great ( they are not terrible either ) but with a DSLR many other things are needed to get the best from the lens and this is a long term learning issue..

Also bare in mind that weight is an issue. A basic DSLR with two kit lenses will come in at around the 1.25 kilo mark ( which is quit a leap from a P&S ). You have to carry that all day..

Many people try and find a single 'walk-about' lens that covers the range they usually shoot at. However, that is different for everyone. There is no miracle cure. A popular all-in-one is the Tamron 18-250, but bare in mind that your kit lenses bought with a body will do the same job and be much cheaper bought in a kit. Other choices include a variety of 18-200 and 18-135-ish lens..

I would suggest you also consider a good super-zoom P&S. These are good compromises between features and capability and weight and portability. If you shoot mainly in daylight or can use flash they are generally good. I'd suggest looking at a Canon S5 or similar before committing to a DSLR. If you are interested in learning more photography they also have pretty comprehensive controls and you can extend you abilities on a super-zoom..


Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #4

Hi Beau:.

I'd feel a lot better about suggesting you buy a DSLR if you told me that photography is something you really enjoy now, with your point and shoot. (Though since you didn't mention, I'm not sure if it's film or digital)..

Any of the Canon Rebels you mentioned will produce fine images. And I suspect the new one that's not out yet will be wonderful also. I have several friends who shoot with Canon (actually virtually alll of them) and haven't heard good things about the 18-55, though the new 18-55 with image stabilization has gotten great reviews..

When you make the jump to a DSLR, if you buy new, the only thing you'll need is a memory card (or two) you may want to add a memory card reader and an extra battery. Depending on where you're staying in Mexico and Europe, you may need an adapter so you can plug your charger in..

If a DSLR is what you ultimately go with, your friends are steering you on the right path. But decide if you really want to make that investment (maybe borrow one of theirs for an afternoon). And if your point and shoot is film and not digital, there are tons of nice ones out there right now..

Good luck..

'Nice pen, bet you write good stories with it.'..

Comment #5

While both cameras are very capable, I believe that the dust removal system and wider range of image parameter adjustments make the XTi worth the higher price. If it were me, I'd get the body and Canon's 35mm f/2 lens, but I take almost all my pictures with a normal lens and value the faster speed and smaller size. Getting the camera in a kit with the 18-55 lens is a good buy if you like being able to change focal lengths. Pretty good review in the link below that actually helps you get the most out of the lens rather than just concentrating on it's reduced performance at extreme settings.

Comment #6

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